ERIC Number: ED410778
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Mar
Adult Meaning Making in the Undergraduate Classroom.
Kasworm, Carol E.
This study examined the influence of past life experiences and current life biography on the learning of adult students in the undergraduate classroom. A total of 90 undergraduates at least 30 years old who had completed at least 15 hours of academic course work at community colleges, liberal arts colleges, and public universities participated. They completed semi-structured interviews on their own sense of meaning and actions as learners, as undergraduates, and as adults who maintained work, family, and community role involvements. Five belief structures of engagement in learning were delineated in the study. The "entry voice" belief structure reflected students who believed they could not judge or make initial personal sense of classroom knowledge, while the "outside voice" structure reflected students who brought a strong set of beliefs to college, anchored within their real world of work and family. The "critical voice" reflected students who entered college from a private cynical involvement to obtain a credential, while students with a "straddling voice" structure placed their beliefs and actions as intersecting and connecting both academic and adult world knowledge. Students with an "inclusion voice" belief structure actively sought immersion into the academic world and academic knowledge. (Contains 19 references.) (MDM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, March 1997).